oppn parties Mamata Likely to Extend Reign in Bengal

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  • RBI says Covid-19 has "drastically altered" the growth outlook in India
  • Third coronavirus death in the Dharavi slum in Mumbai
  • Odisha becomes the first state to extend the lockdown until April 30. Schools and colleges in the state to remain closed until June 17th
  • The Supreme Court orders all coronavirus testing, including by private labs, to be done for free, says will look into the matter of reimbursement for private players at a later date
  • Former Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar proposes an Indo-Pak ODI series to raise funds for fighting coronavirus
  • Maharashtra government says many Tablighi Jamaat members who attended the Markaz and returned have gone into hiding
  • West Bengal government identifies hotspots in Kolkata and the rest of the state, inclined to extend the lockdown in those places only
  • Prime Minister Modi holds a video conference with floor leaders of opposition parties, hints at extending the lockdown
  • UP seals hotspots and makes masks mandatory
  • Masks made compulsory in Mumbai, violators will be arrested
  • ICMR says an infected person can infect 406 people in 30 days without social distancing and lockdown
  • Stock markets make a smart recovery. Sensex up by record 2476 points on global cues
  • Schools, colleges and shopping malls likely to remain closed for a further period of one month, says empowered group of ministers
  • PM Modi tells BJP workers that India is in for a long battle against the coronavirus and there is no scope to feel tired or defeated
  • PM Modi asks ministers to focus on exports and new areas and sectors
Total Covid-19 cases rise to 5734 on Thursday and the death toll stands at 166, says the health ministry in its daily briefing
oppn parties
Mamata Likely to Extend Reign in Bengal

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2016-03-06 13:17:51

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
At any other time and faced with a different opposition scenario, Mamata Banerjee would have raised hell over the Election Commission’s decision to have a 6-phase poll in Bengal, especially when other states like Tamil Nadu are having it in just one phase. But her relative quietness stems from the fact that she knows she is well placed to win these elections mainly due to the precarious condition of the opposition parties in the state.

The BJP in Bengal has just not taken off, except perhaps for a few pockets in urban areas. As for the Left, it is a spent force having lost rapid ground in areas that were once considered impregnable red bastions. The less said about the Congress the better. Infighting and loss of cadre to the TMC has meant that the party is now restricted to one or two urban seats, Malda and Murshidabad. Its alliance with the Left is not going to work. Mamata knows that as of now, the combined opposition can only win a limited number of seats and is of no threat to her. Hence, despite saying that the commission has treated Bengal in a “step-motherly” manner, she acknowledged that it was the prerogative of the commission to decide such things.

The people can hope for relatively peaceful elections this time, both for the fact that there will be strict monitoring by the commission and the TMC will perhaps not give a carte blanche to its goon brigade due to its smugness. Some disturbances are likely to occur in areas where the BJP fancies its chances. But it can be safely said that there will be a sea of green in Bengal after counting is over on May 19th.